It was the first real soundtrack album ever. Instead of the musical blam-blam-blam that one might expect to accompany Mafia mayhem, a distant, mournful trumpet theme slowly swells with orchestration, like an old man's memories slowly filing back. The Frank Churchill-Larry Morey tunes proved an original 'toon could equal or better Broadway's musical-comedy best. If ''TSOM'''s rep suffers hipsters' sneers, that says more about our times than the songs. Is there a more inspiring anthem than ''Climb Ev'ry Mountain''? It was one of Mayfield's gifts that his songs could sound joyful and heartbroken at the same time, suggesting the complexities of the human experience. But a better place to start is with the film, in which the tale of singing sibs and their remarkably musical governess in Nazi Austria found its voice in Julie Andrews. It's not so much foreboding as sad -- mourning Crane even as she caroms toward her fate. That was still the case in '73, when George Lucas asked ''Where were you in '62?
Even though half of it is devoted to a mood-music score, this landmark introduced ''youth music'' to grown-ups' movies, the reverberations of which are still being felt. Mayfield's music imbued the blaxploitation quickie with a moral pulse, taking aim at the scourge of drugs in the inner city. If ''TSOM'''s rep suffers hipsters' sneers, that says more about our times than the songs. But if ''Stayin' Alive'' was a reason to live, even the lesser lights on this double LP gave us happy feet. The Harder They Come - Various This vital compilation introduced most Americans to reggae music, and for that alone it deserves our lofty ranking. While that tune as well as the film's love theme have become pop-culture signifiers invoking instant parody or homage, the score itself brought Fellini collaborator Nino Rota long-overdue acclaim in America, and it remains a disturbing benchmark for its very sense of quiet. Instead of the musical blam-blam-blam that one might expect to accompany Mafia mayhem, a distant, mournful trumpet theme slowly swells with orchestration, like an old man's memories slowly filing back. Someday more princely formats would come, but there's a good reason why this chestnut is perennially in print: Nearly 30 years after its release, the soundtrack remains one of the few non-Bob Marley albums to make it into the collections of casual reggae fans. You may not recognize that chord by name, but you'd instantly know it as the ringing opening salvo of ''A Hard Day's Night,'' the soundtrack that turned a nation into a glee club. That was still the case in '73, when George Lucas asked ''Where were you in '62? All that changed with Mike Nichols' gently satiric swipe at the establishment and the emerging counterculture. He even invented a plausible reason for the film's wall-to-wall music, a then-revolutionary conceit: It was the first real soundtrack album ever. On Golden Pond Dave Grusin Please write nothing for the murder in the shower. Audiences who wanted a souvenir of the CinemaScope-size movie got a grand one in this album, which happened to sound, yes, as big as all outdoors. Thus it came to be that a generation of Vietnam-hardened hippies was suddenly grooving to ''Green Onions,'' turning a double album full of artists who'd been bypassed by the counterculture into an unlikely retro smash. The harpy chorus of violin shrieks that accompany Marion Crane's death changed the art of scoring as surely as ''Psycho'' altered film history. Sondheim Sondheim, Bernstein, Shakespeare Cue ''The Sound of Silence'' as Benjamin rides a moving walkway to his uncertain future or ''Scarborough Fair'' as his romantic dreams crumble. In , the Beatles had already taken over our radios and TV sets when they decided to commandeer our movie palaces, too. West Side Story - L. To re-create the hysteria that had greeted their ''Ed Sullivan Show'' appearances, the Fabs had to come up with tunes that would out-pleasure ''Please Please Me. Now, this tale of finding joy in a world gone mad is impossible to resist. Bonus points for history making:
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